Tag Archive for: 2013 NHK Trophy

Impressive fifth for Gilles and Poirier at NHK Trophy

TOKYO – Canadian ice dancers Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier brought the house down with a spectacular new long program to place fifth in their season debut on Sunday at the NHK Trophy ISU Grand Prix figure skating competition.

World champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White won the gold medal with 186.65 points well ahead of runners-up Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte of Italy with 160.06. Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani of the U.S. were third at 157.58.

Poirier, a 2010 Olympian from Unionville, Ont., was out three months after sustaining a serious leg injury this past spring. His leg didn’t seem to be a factor as the couple delivered a clean program packed with original moves that received a huge ovation from the Japanese crowd.

At the end of the program Gilles produced a giant smile and slapped her hands for a job well-done.

“We were very solid and that was important for us heading into nationals,” said Poirier, who joined forces with Gilles in 2011. “Our training has been so limited over the last month. Starting in Japan was good for us because we always enjoy competing for us and they have a great crowd. We’re confident we are on our way to getting even better.”

Gilles said the couple had a slight fear of the unknown heading into the event.

“The last couple of weeks been a bit of a roller coaster for us,” said the Toronto resident.  “To lay down two solid programs was a bit emotional. It is something we will always remember.”

Gilles and Poirier were one of two entries at the competition. On Saturday, Paige Lawrence of Kennedy, Sask., and Rudi Swiegers of Kipling, Sask., were sixth in pairs.

Lawrence and Swiegers sixth at NHK Trophy

TOKYO – Paige Lawrence of Kennedy, Sask., and Rudi Swiegers of Kipling, Sask.,  took sixth spot on Saturday in pairs at the NHK Trophy ISU Grand Prix figure skating competition.

Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov of Russia won the gold medal with 236.49 points.  Cheng Peng and Hao Zhang of China were second at 182.18 and Wenjing Sui and Cong Han, also of China, were third at 171.32.

It was the second competition this season for Lawrence and Swiegers who are hoping to regain top form in time for the national championships in January after an injury earlier this year to Swiegers.

“It wasn’t perfect but we feel like it was a step forward and part of the process,” said Lawrence.  “We are going to take the positives and adjust our training accordingly.”

Swiegers said he was too tentative.

“I left a lot on table,” he said. “I’ve been skating better than what I showed today. Still we went out there and fought everything.  It is important for us to keep everything in perspective.  Our big goals are nationals and qualifying for the Olympics.”

In ice dancing, Piper Gilles of Toronto and Paul Poirier of Unionville, Ont., stand fifth after the short dance. It was the couple’s first event this season.  Poirier was out three months after sustaining a serious leg injury this past spring.

Meryl Davis and Charlie White of the U.S., lead the field with 73.70 points.

The free dance is on Sunday.

Canadians Continue on ISU Grand Prix Circuit in Japan

OTTAWA, ON: Canada will send four athletes to the fourth stop on the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating. The 2013 NHK Trophy will take place from November 8-10, 2013, at the Yoyogi National Stadium in Tokyo, Japan. The event will feature all four disciplines, and Canada will have two entries: one in pair, and one in ice dance.

Paige Lawrence, 23, Kennedy, Sask., and Rudi Swiegers, 26, Kipling, Sask., will represent Canada in the pair category. Lawrence and Swiegers previously competed at this event in 2009, placing seventh. This will be their second event of the season, having placed fifth at the 2013 U.S. International Figure Skating Classic. Representing Wawota FSC, they are the 2013 Canadian bronze medallists. Lawrence and Swiegers train in Melville, Sask., and Virden, Man., and are coached by Patricia Hole and Lyndon Johnston.

Canadian silver medallists Piper Gilles, 21, Toronto, Ont., and Paul Poirier, 21, Unionville, Ont., will be the Canadian entry in ice dance. This will be the first event of the season for the duo representing Scarboro FSC. Last season on the ISU Grand Prix circuit, Gilles and Poirier placed fourth at Skate Canada International and sixth at Trophée Eric Bompard. They are coached by Carol Lane and Juris Razgulajevs at Ice Dance Elite in Scarborough, Ont.

Petra Burka of Toronto, Ont., will be the Canadian team leader at the event, and physiotherapist Siobhan Karam of Ottawa, Ont., will be the Canadian medical staff onsite. Jeff Lukasik of Calgary, Alta., and Sally Rehorick of Vancouver, B.C., will be the Canadian officials at the event.